UBC capstone design project of cafeteria and cold storage building wins 2021 ASHRAE competition

Mike Edwards   

News ASHRAE UBC video

Computer model of competition building.

A UBC Mechanical Engineering Capstone design team has won first place in the HVAC Design Calculations category of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2021 design competition.

Usually, Capstone students are paired with an industry-sponsored project for the final design work of their undergraduate degree. Instead, Brandon Jung, Arin Lee, Lukengo Miguel, Kyle Vanderhorst and Jeff Yoon decided to complete this year’s ASHRAE HVAC Design Calculations challenge, designing a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for a 50,000 square foot building in Prince George, BC.

ASHRAE’s HVAC Design Calculations category challenged students to calculate the heating and cooling loads for the building and create an energy efficient HVAC system design, while complying with industry standards.

Watch UBC design competition video presentation:

Competitors were given a set of project requirements, utility and service information, climate information and architectural drawings. They were challenged to fulfill requirements specific to the building, which contained a post-secondary cafeteria facility capable of serving 3,000 students a day.

Designs had to account for both safe food storage and diners’ comfort, as well as achieve the goals of low life cycle cost, low environmental impact, comfort and health, creative high-performance green design, and synergy with the architecture.

Computer model of competition building

The UBC team made a computer model of the building in order to analyze the implications of the building’s orientation, underground wall surface area and thermal zones. The model allowed them to understand how building’s position relative to the sun would change its temperature throughout the day, including how geometric qualities and physical details like exterior walls and window area would affect heat loss.

UBC faculty advisor Dr. Nima Atabaki, P.Eng.

Required to submit their final design as a PDF report, the team had to provide mechanical floor plans of their design and chosen equipment, a schematic flow diagram, as well as heating and cooling load calculations. They also had to illustrate how their understanding of the building’s shape, layout, and material properties worked with their equipment choices to comply with ASHRAE Standards for occupant’s comfort and air quality. As part of their capstone course and the competition, the students worked under the guidance of faculty advisor Dr. Nima Atabaki, P.Eng., as well as industry advisors and UBC Mechanical Engineering alumni Esteban Kello, P.Eng. and Sun Jun Yoo, EIT. The capstone team’s winning design can be seen in their final presentation as part of UBC’s virtual 2021 Design and Innovation Day.

ASHRAE will officially present the award to a member of the team at their 2022 winter conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team wins a prize of $2000, as well as travel and transportation for one representative at the conference. https://www.ashrae.org/conferences/2022-winter-conference-las-vegas

This is the fifth time a UBC team has won the Design Calculation category of the competition. The 2022 ASHRAE Design Competition is now open, and challenges students to design heating and cooling systems for a building in Sydney, Australia. https://www.ashrae.org/communities/student-zone/competitions/2022-design-competition

Students interested in HVAC can also learn more about ASHRAE though the UBC ASHRAE Student Chapter.

Print this page


Stories continue below